Summer Foot Care
Going barefoot is one of the simple joys of summer – beach sand, grassy fields, and warm garden earth, all feel better between bare toes.
Foot care is not something many of us find time for. Pampering your feet will not only make them look better, but you will also feel better. It was Abraham Lincoln that once complained, “If my feet hurt, I can’t think.” According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, eight out of ten American adults will suffer from some kind of foot problem in their lives. Simple home treatments can both treat and prevent many common foot problems. Here are some easy to do recipes and ideas for healthy, happy feet:
Alfalfa Mint Footbath
Alfalfa is a member of the soybean family. Combined with cooling herbs, such as mint and thyme, it makes an energizing footbath. This soak, followed by a simple foot massage using a natural oil such as grapeseed or sunflower, will do wonders for tired overworked feet. You may use fresh alfalfa and herbs in this recipe by simply doubling the amounts called for.
1-gallon hot water
2 tablespoons Epsom salts
2 tablespoons dried alfalfa leaves
1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
Place the dried or fresh herbs inside a tea ball or square of cheesecloth. Fill a large tub or basin with hot water and pour in the Epsom salts. Float your herbal bundle in the water and let it steep until the water is cool enough for your feet. To use: Soak your feet in the soft fragrant water for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat your skin dry and massage a rich natural oil into your feet.
Yield: 28 ounces, enough for one footbath
Pumice Foot Scrub
Too tight or too loose shoes can cause corns and calluses. These hardened areas are best treated by soaking your feet in Epsom salts. Once the calluses are softened, follow up with this foot scrub recipe. Pumice stones (natural rocks formed from super cooled volcanic lava) are found in many drug stores.
1-tablespoon ground pumice powder
2 tablespoons sour cream
To make the pumice powder: Place a pumice stone inside a heavy plastic bag and hit with a hammer on a hard surface (outdoors, if possible) until you have a fine powder. Mix the pumice powder and sour cream into a smooth paste. Massage this cream into our feet, giving special attention to your heels. Then wash the scrub completely from your feet and pat dry.
Yield: 1 ounce, enough for one treatment
Summer Foot Cream
This rich cream is an excellent deep moisturizing treatment for summer-ravaged feet. If you suffer from cracked feet or heels massage some of this rich cream into your feet before going to bed at night.
½ cup light sesame or almond oil
1-teaspoon vitamin E oil
2 tablespoons grated beeswax
¼ cup distilled water
3-4 drops essential oil of lavender (optional)
Mix together the oils and beeswax and heat gently in the microwave or double boiler until the wax is completely melted. Heat the water just until it starts to boil (1 minute in the microwave). Slowly stir the hot water into the oil mixture in a thin, even stream. (You can use a blender for this step.) Pour the cream into a clean container and allow to cool completely. The cream thickens as it cools and may need one more final stirring before use. To use: massage into clean feet.
Yield: 4 ounces
Calendula Foot Powder
Our feet have 250,000 sweat glands and can produce as much as four ounces of perspiration in a single day. Dusting your soles once or twice a day with a deodorizing powder will help to keep them dry and healthy. Calendula, or “pot marigolds,” contains antibacterial properties, perfect for use in this soothing, deodorizing foot powder recipe.
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon finely ground, dried calendula petals
1-2 drips essential oil of geranium
Place all the ingredients in a dry jar or resealable plastic bag and shake well to mix. Pour the powder into a clean, dry container. To use: Sprinkle the powder on clean, dry feet and gently massage into the skin especially between your toes.
Yield: 3 ounces
Australian Foot Spray
Tea tree oil comes from the Australian outback, where aborigines, have used it for centuries as a remedy for just about everything. The distilled oil is a powerful antiseptic and fungicide, and it makes an invigorating foot spray. Tea tree oil is easy to find at many natural food stores.
½ teaspoon tea tree oil
2 tablespoons witch-hazel
¼ cup water
Mix together all the ingredients. Pour into a clean spray bottle or container with a tight fitting lid. To use: spray or splash onto your feet.
Yield: 3 ounces